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5.0 Learning Outcome
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Essentials of Recruitment
5.3 Steps in Recruitment
5.4 Civil Service Recruitment in India
5.5 Recruiting Agency in India
5.6 Idea of Promotion
5.7 Features of Promotion in Selected Countries
5.8 Methods to Ascertain Merit
5.9 Conclusion
5.10 Key Concepts
5.11 References and Further Reading
5.12 Activities


After studying the Unit, you will be able to:

Understand the theory and practice of recruitment, particularly highlighting its
significance in civil service;
Highlight the methods and procedures of recruitment;
Appreciate the theory and practice of promotion;
Analyse constitutional provisions with regard to recruitment and promotion in
India; and
Understand the main methods to ascertain merit.


Human capital utilisation in an economy is contingent on sound recruitment. Recruitment

is the cornerstone of the entire personnel structure. Proper selection and placement of
new employees is a pre-requisite for the development of an effective work force. Unless
recruitment policy is soundly conceived, there can be little hope of building a first rate
staff. (Stahl, 1966) The aim is to ensure, as far as possible, that employees are engaged
in jobs wherein they have a fair chance of succeeding and at the same time feel well
adjusted to their work environment.
Fairness and impartiality in recruitment are absolutely vital in public services. A.B.
Vajpayee, former prime minister of India, in a message to the platinum jubilee souvenir
(1926-2001) of Union Public Service Commission, observed, that free, fair and impartial
selection of personnel for posts in the government is critical, not only for good
governance but also for instilling confidence in people about the impartiality and
neutrality of civil service. Faulty recruitment inflicts a permanent weakness on the
administration. A theoretically sound civil service structure is of no avail if those who
man the structure are incompetent or apathetic.
In this context, one of the United Nations Reports rightly states that, the core design of
progressive recruitment policy in any organisation is the reduction, if not the elimination
of favouritism, nepotism and incompetence in the selection process.
Since the efficiency of the civil services depends to such a great extent on the quality of
manpower selected, the UPSC has taken meticulous care to ensure selection of persons
with high caliber through a transparent, fair and objective selection process. The systems,
procedures and methods for recruitment to the civil service are being constantly reviewed
for tapping the best available talent. There is a firm recognition of the fact that the
quality of public services in India and the quality of administration on the whole remains
high and has been maintained solely because the commission has so steadfastly adhered
to the principle of merit. (UPSC; 47th report)
The need for fool- proof civil service recruitment is stressed for many reasons. The
institution is the bed rock of modernity in that it coalesces together separate entities
(owing to poly communalism) into the facsimile of a nation-state. Its effective
functioning, in turn, is contingent on the quality of manpower. Efficient functioning of
the civil service has positive spin-off effects on other sectors especially in predominantly
political economy countries like India, where government retains monopoly over goods
and services provision in the majority of sectors and continues to play a vanguard role in
the development of the economy.
Other personnel processes such as training, placement, promotion, etc., are dependent on
sound recruitment for built- in efficacy. Training cannot make up for faulty recruitment;
as also on- the- job training requires sound recruitment to be effective.
Manpower planning is practiced through the recruitment process (it has been discussed
at length in Unit No. 3). Overstaffing and imbalance through tiers has reportedly plagued
the functioning of the Indian civil service in recent years. Fiscal deficit has consequently
bourgeoned and efficiency standards fallen. Empirical analysis of recruitment data
reveals manpower requirements over a time frame in specified sectors in the civil service
and career planning and development followed by the organisation, on which, depends,
the targeted character of the recruitment policy of the organisation and the country as a
whole, and most importantly, organisational health.
Study of recruitment trends overtime reveals placement preferences of youth in the
country. Analysis of personnel inventory depicts the socio-economic composition of the
workforce with implications for academic disciplines and practical sciences of sociology
and economics as well as the art and science of public administration. Data collected
serves as rational bases for objective theory formulation, heuristic model building, and
proffering policy inputs or recommendations based on objective research based, rational
criterion, trends in demographic composition of the civil service; for example, age
structure, socio economic preferences of youth concerning employment in the
government sector, need for consequent modifications in work content via enlargement,
enrichment, change in working conditions, etc; change preferences in accordance with
ideological preferences or orientation of the ruling elite are revealed.

Civil service recruitment policy is an indicator of the value system prevalent in the
country, for example, whether driven by equity concerns or powered by the efficiency
myth. It gets revealed by pursuance or otherwise of, or the extent of affirmative action
if at all pursued in favour of disadvantaged groups viz. minorities, women, economically
backward etc.
The equity objective is being served via the recruitment process. India for example is
committed to the cause of social and economic justice ensured through the constitutional
provision of equality of opportunity. Disadvantaged sections of society are provided job
reservations as equality is interpreted as a virtue inhering between people placed in like
circumstances and not as subsisting been unequally circumstanced people. Historically
marginalised people have not been on an equal footing with their more privileged
brethren. Equality does not therefore, obtain between people disadvantageously
In the same vein, organisational culture and philosophy and environmental values co-
opted in internal policy of an organisation also get revealed in the recruitment literature.
Degree of autonomy enjoyed by organisations and the functioning of democracy are
indicated by recruitment policies of independent organisations.
Lastly, but no less significantly, recruitment involves continuous review and
improvement of the examination process on the basis of facts gathered through research
and development regarding implementation, relevance of the process in changing times
and need for review of the process. Evaluation and feedback lead to better craft or
articulation of policy inputs. The reform exercise might be important from the point of
view of morale of prospective employees, quality of selections, considerations of justice
and equity in the selection process, besides organisation design and sociological theory

Above enumeration is by no means exhaustive; new facets continue to emerge as

understanding of personnel processes deepens.
Two terms need elaboration viz. recruitment and appointment, in that they require
discrete usage though are often used interchangeably. Recruitment covers the entire
gamut of activities relating to entertainment, acceptance, selection and approval for
appointment and not the actual appointment itself or posting in-service. Appointment
refers to the actual posting assigned to a person, post-selection, to a particular office. The
first instance of a sound recruitment policy comes from China where people were
recruited through competitions centuries ago. Prussia was the first country in modern
times to adopt an objective recruitment system. The merit system was introduced by the
East India Company in 1853 for recruitment of civil servants in India. England accepted
this system in 1857. In the U.S.A., it was the spoils system at work. The system came to a
partial end after the assassination of President Garfield in 1881 by a disgruntled job-


Notable essentials of recruitment are;

1. All personnel process, viz. recruitment, training, career planning and
development, performance appraisal, etc., are inter-linked and should be
appreciated in totality; not piecemeal, for overall improvement of organisational
practice. As a prerequisite to sound personnel management, planning and
development of recruitment policies and procedures should be in consonance with
national personnel policy and the broad organisational, state and nation- wide,
socio- economic goals involving authoritative allocation of values on the part of
the ruling elite. In this context, dilemma concerning liberty and equality
postulates may not always be easily resolvable. The reference here is to equity
requirements vs. merit considerations in public employment.
2. The recruitment process should be linked with the organisation-wide manpower
or human resource plan for purposes of economy and ready availability of
personnel with attendant implications for organisational efficiency. The
progression of the process of manpower planning is from micro to macro,
envisioned as a series of concentric circles moving outwards.
3. The net for recruitment should be cast wide to reach out widest in pursuance of
the best available talent, to the extent practicable.
4. Management should encourage staff participation in formulation and
implementation of recruitment plans to make them real.
5. The recruitment process should be carefully planned, organised, directed and
controlled. POSDCoRB delineates specific administrative activities as it does the
whole (at successive macro levels), organisational, or at the level of the state.
6. Recruitment should employ fair and impartial criteria to build the confidence of
the people, particularly prospective employees. Legal aspect should also be taken
care of. Both organisational and individual interests should be addressed through
responsive and benevolent policy.
7. Minimum time and money cost should be incurred. For example, methods and
procedures which aid quick disposal of applications should be used. All methods
employed should ensure economy apart from efficiency as also clarity with regard
to objectives of the effort or practice.
8. Recruitment agencies should show positive interest in incorporating theoretical
postulates delineated as ideal. Academic and practical worlds should conjoin
Sources of Recruitment
There are two sources of recruitment; inside and outside source. The first method entails
promotion and the second, recruitment, in the literal sense of the term. These two
methods are not mutually exclusive and all governments take recourse to either or both at
the same time, to meet personnel requirements. Indeed, the best solution to the problem is
in a happy combination of the two approaches in the light of administrative requirements,
past experience, academic deliberation and value impingement from the environment
(specifically government directives)

Advantages of Direct Recruitment

(1) Direct recruitment is in accord with democratic stipulates as it affords equal

opportunity to all prospective employees.
(2) It widens the ambit of selection and makes it possible to tap a wider market for
supply of desired human resource.
(3) Redundancy in an organisation is checked. Direct recruits infuse new blood into
the system by their fresh perspective, new ideas and approaches. In the same vein,
public services are kept in tune with the changing socio-economic environment in
the country through continuous supply of fresh graduates. Reform comes by
easily and change is not resisted, as is otherwise apprehended (arguable
though; referring to the hypothesis that bureaucracy is by its very nature,
change resistant)
(4) Technical updating of personnel is imperative, specifically in case of process
organisations where latest technical know- how is imminent. Young men supply it
easily. Training cost may be lowered in such cases;
(5) Direct recruitment motivates employees already working for the organisation to
keep themselves up-to-date with the new and the latest information, lest they lose
in the run for higher posts to outside players. It is therefore conducive to
maintaining as also augmenting efficiency standards.
Disadvantage of Direct Recruitment
(1) Direct recruits lack experience and practical know-how. Prolonged and intensive
training might be required to cover the competence- lag, which entails cost. This
argument may, however, be contested on the ground that competence lag is
found among all employees irrespective of source; new recruits may not be
singled out for treatment. Besides, adaptability may be a personal, individualised
attribute. Nevertheless, a commonplace argument is put forward that inexperience
proves a costly disadvantage since organisations vie for competitive edge in the
market place.
(2) Recruitment from outside source kills the initiative of internal candidates. They
feel discouraged which impedes organisational morale with attendant impact on
morale and work efficiency.
(3) Direct recruitment places young people over old; inexperienced over experienced
This might not be good for development of positive social capital with its
organisational culture implications (articulate in the working of the informal
organisation) with attendant impact on organisational solidarity, and esprit -de
(4) Older people cannot compete successfully with young entrants as they get out of
touch with studies. Older people also cannot "mug up" easily which may be
required for success in examinations.
The question arises as to which of the two methods should be adopted for recruitment to
public service? It may be said that neither of these methods can be preferred to the total
exclusion of the other; a mix of approaches may be recommended as sound
organisational strategy; practice endorses the viewpoint.
Both these methods are followed in practice. In India, there is direct recruitment for the
All India services (I.A.S.) and other central services but a certain proportion of posts are
reserved for recruitment by promotion (from inside source). The proportion of indirect
recruitment varies from service to service, class to class, department to department. Civil
servants are not only recruited through open competitive examination, but certain
officials from the state governments also get promoted. There are differing opinions,
however, on the practice. There is a feeling that promotions from state services dilute the
quality of all India services personnel. Besides, the whole idea of all India civil services
gets lost when other state officers are promoted to civil services and work in the state
itself. It should be made mandatory for the officers who are promoted to civil service to
serve in other states to maintain the ethos of All India Civil Services (Misra, 2005). The
fifth pay commission made the following recommendations to ameliorate the situation.
When state officers are promoted to the AIS, 50% of them should be allotted to
contiguous states of the same region and the balance 50% should be allotted to
their own state.
All AIS officers should be compelled to do at least one stint of deputation with
the center during the first 15 years of their service.
The Central Government should have the authority to change the state of
allotment for any officer, if there is evidence to show that he has developed a
close nexus with either the politicians or other elements in a state.

In the U.S.A., direct recruitment for higher posts is more limited in comparison to Britain
and India, since there is more recourse to promotion from below for higher echelons.
Evaluating the Practice
It is contended that extensive direct recruitment at higher levels may be a poor reflection
on the ability and talent available within. It also undermines the career idea. On the
other hand, complete absence of direct recruitment for the positions might reflect poorly
on organisational practice since it might signal complacency on the part of the
organisation with impacts on organisational effectiveness.
Balance between the Closed and Open system model theories with respect to
organisation theory, instead of one or the other extreme might be a more practicable idea.
Compatibility between closed and open model perspectives of organisation theory
might be significant for both academic learning via heuristic analysis (model building).
There is an urgent need to arrive at a compatibility of the two approaches to
organisational structuring. Practice indicates that one method cannot be preferred
absolutely to the other.
The various methods of Recruitment followed in India as illustrated in the fifth pay
commission report are as follows:

Direct Recruitment
Short Term Contract

Contract employment is prevalent in a limited measure in government departments.

Consultants can be appointed to the tune of 19% of the total strength with relaxations in
case of the Planning Commission. Lateral entry and contract service have been in
consideration of late and have also been recommended by the fifth pay commission in
view of increasing specialisation of work and the need for networking knowledge.

Legal Position
Legally, the source of recruitment with respect to any post is entirely a matter of
discretion with the government. An authority competent to recruit can also lay down
policy with regard to the number of posts to be filled by direct recruitment and by
promotions, and, if the authority decides that a post should be filled by direct recruitment,
persons eligible for promotion cannot claim any priority.

In the absence of any statutory rules governing appointments to any state service, the
appropriate state may recruit members to that service in any manner it likes, in exercise
of its executive powers under Article 162 of the Indian constitution, provided the
guarantee contained in Articles 14 and 16 of the constitution are not infringed. So long as
the action of the government does not violate any fundamental or statutory rights of the
persons concerned, mere absence of a statute or a rule justifying a particular manner of
appointment will not invalidate it. If, however, there is in existence any valid law or
statutory rule relating to appointment, the executive is bound to abide by the relevant law
or rule and has no jurisdiction to ignore, out step or violate the same under the guise of
executive powers. (Roshan Lal Sharma vs. Union of India, 1968, Punj 47)


Recruitment Process is diagrammatically illustrated as follows:

Plan and Develop

Organisational Personnel Recruitment Policies
Goals Policies And Procedures

Designing of Job Requisition

Advertisement Job Analysis
forms Job Specification


Interview Tests Examinations

Scrutiny of Selection Appointment letter
Application Or Rejection

Recruitment process consists of the following steps:

a. Job Requisition

The first essential step is job requisition, which gives the recruiting agency information
regarding each job. This is done through 'job analysis' and 'job specification'. Job
analysis is the study of all facts relating to a job and its work environment; physical and
social which potentially impacts performance. Job specification is a statement of the
physical, mental and temperamental qualities desirable for accomplishing a job. (These
have been discussed in Unit No. 4 in detail) This exercise helps in categorising the
requirements of a job, detailing facts regarding:

(a) Qualifications required of the job; general educational qualifications and

technical, whichever specified;
(b) Specific skill, ability or aptitude (if) required has to be determined and laid down
to help chose the right selection test;
(c) Previous job experience if required to put premium on continuity;
(d) Personal and physical attributes desired; and;
(e) Age and domicile requirements if any.

Based upon these facts, the head of the organisation submits to the recruiting agency,
requisition for the staff required.

b. Designing Application Forms

Application forms may be designed to procure the required information from applicants,
as per job descriptions and specifications. A well designed application form is a
prerequisite for the success of the recruitment process. If employees send applications on
plain sheets of paper, all facts may not be procured making some kind of alternate
arrangement such as correspondence with candidates necessary to get additional
information. A well designed application form obviates the need for contingent measures.
Hence application design is about both fact and value. The two are intermixed in real life
Sole or over- reliance on applications, however, could be counter productive in many
ways and management has to guard against its excessive use. Form design can potentially
disadvantage people who may not meet formal criterion but might otherwise have
excellent work skills. Management has to ensure short listing of such candidates who
might not even, otherwise, make it to the interview (HR Guide, 2005).
Some Other Important Guidelines are noted thus:
While including minimum educational qualifications or specific work experience as key
criteria, consider whether these are really essential to the position. Essential and optional
requirements may ideally be separately catalogued. Economical use of paper is also

Significantly, applications contain value input from the environment. Hence they reflect
organisational philosophy and value impingement from the ruling elite (particularly
government in power). For example, employment of disabled people or women under
quota policy, or labour contract laws might be put as a statutory requirement if stipulation
to that effect is made by the government. Job descriptions and specifications are being
used in developed nations like U.K to afford equal opportunity in employment to disabled
candidates. The extent to which an advertisement includes or excludes disabled people
depends on the job description and specification listed therein. Physical, educational and
behavioural requirements could be so laid down as to enable or prohibit disabled
applicants from applying. Careful drafting can help integrate them in the mainstream by
opening up to the extent possible, regular sectors of employment. Compliance with
government policy and enforcement of corporate social responsibility is also secured
through advertisements.
Standard application forms might militate against diversity and pluralism of/ about the
workforce. Letter of the form, and categories under which information is asked for,
should be formulated carefully. In-built flexibility is therefore, needed and organisational
culture and human relations implications also need to be considered.
Application and advertisements are tools to achieve the needed balance between
organisational and individual goals and thus organisational equilibrium. The
advertisement should highlight the salient points of the job and lay down the
requirements of the job clearly. Applicants should be able to look at organisational goals
and match them with their personal goals.

c. Advertisement
The recruiting agency notifies vacancies to identified sources through well- articulated
advertisements. Care should be taken in drafting advertisements as well, as there are legal
implications inherent. Advertisement is an attempt to secure best talents for the post and
fulfill constitutional requirements of giving equal opportunity to all eligible candidates.
Advertising does not imply an obligation that the post will be filled (Daya Ram vs. State
of Haryana AIR, 1974 P&H 279)

The cost factor has to be especially considered in issuing advertisements and in the
process of sifting applications and communicating thereafter. It should both be speedy as
well as cost efficient. The information communication revolution has altered the scenario
considerably in the present day times. Paper work has been minimised considerably,
especially in developed countries. Online submission of applications is very much in

Modes of Inviting Applications

There are many ways in which vacancies can be announced to interested people. The
most commonly employed are;

(i) Newspapers,
(ii) Trade or professional journals,
(iii) Notice boards in field offices
(iv) Employment exchange
(v) Employment job centers,
(vi) Department of social welfare (in vacancies reserved for scheduled castes
and tribes backward classes, etc.),
(vii) Directorate general of re-settlement, ministry of defense, in respect of
vacancies reserved for ex-servicemen.

Technique of Advertising
The best techniques for writing effective job advertisements are the same as for other
forms of marketing. (Chapman, 2001-04) The aim of the job advert is to attract interest,
communicate quickly and clearly the essential (appealing and relevant) points, and to
provide a clear response process and mechanism. Design should concentrate on the
clarity of text, text layout, and on conveying a professional image. Information must be
communicated effectively one way or another to the target group.
Advertisement should have simple formatting. It should not be over designed or
too graphic. Care should be taken to ensure that the job advertisement is easy to
read and includes all relevant categories of information. Also, information should
be asked for in a logical order in all job advertisements.
As with application design, language used in advertisements should be simple,
comprehendible, and clear; all required information should be made available, which is
consistent, timely and adequate, free of bias or ambiguity on any count or fraught with
legal complications. All required and relevant information should be supplied to the
applicant and also elicited as per organisational requirements.
Evaluation is necessary. It is necessary to monitor the extent to which job
advertisement attracts a wide range of candidates. If there are too few candidates
for a particular post or too many who do not possess relevant skills or experience
there might be need to review the advertisements (Chapman, 2001-04).R&D
activity in the organisation is stressed here.
d. Scrutiny of Applications

The next stage is scrutiny of applications. The purpose of scrutiny is to sift out less
desirable candidates. Scrutiny of eligible candidates can ensure if information required of
a candidate is complete and whether he fulfils all requisite criteria of eligibility apart
from meeting essential minimum prescribed qualifications. If scrutiny indicates that the
number of applicants is large, some criteria may be designed to keep the number of
candidates to a manageable proportion. Sometimes there are rules which require that
number of applicants to be examined may be four times of all applicants. The appointing
authority is not barred from adopting a rational procedure for short-listing the eligible
candidates. This can be done either through the written examination or interview or by
fixing some other rational criteria. The balance of power is unmistakably tilted towards
the organisation in this case. If a candidate is not called he cannot therefore have any
grievance of hostile discrimination. (Jayant Kumar Chauhan vs. PSC MP 1979 Lab
10(NOC), 17, MP (HC) .Time taken for scrutiny is also not prescribed in most cases
resulting in considerable, often too much discretion, with the management.

e. Selection

The recruiting agency arranges an examination or interview or both, to select the suitable
candidate(s). After selection, a list of selected candidates is prepared in the order of merit
and published. The list generally contains more names than the actual number of
vacancies as sometimes some candidates may not join for some reason. The appointing
authorities cannot depart from rankings given in the test. The list generally remains valid
for a period ranging from six months to one year depending upon the rules of the
organisation concerned. So long as the selection list is in operation, the appointment is to
be made from this list. However, there is no guarantee to appoint candidates from the
selection list only. Rules are often framed to minimise legal interface with employees
(present and prospective). Undoubtedly, this is an important emerging branch of human
resource management.

f. Communication

The suitable candidates selected are informed while unsuccessful candidates may or may
not be informed. The information given to selected candidates must not be ambiguous.
Terms and conditions governing appointment should be clearly spelt out.

Letter of appointment is issued after selection. It is a communication to the employee that

she/he has been selected for the job. The appointment letter, depending on the rules of
the organisation, is subject to police report and medical examination. The same should be
drafted carefully as conditions of service of an employee are governed by the
communication in the appointment letter or service rules specified therein. Many legal
complications can be avoided if appointment letters are drafted and issued carefully.

g. Placement

The progress of the new employee is observed during the probation period and followed
by confirmation of service of the employee, if found fit. According to Flippo, (1976) the
success in the function of recruitment can be judged by a number of criteria: (1) the
number of applicants; (2) the number of offers made; (3) the number of hiring; and (4)
the number of successful placements. (Flippo, 1976)

Appointment in Civil Service

At the outset, it may be desirable to clarify that the word public service includes both
civil and military personnel. Article 311 of the Constitution of India does not include
defence personnel as they do not hold civil posts. (Hidaytullah, 1986)

Permanent or Temporary Posts

With respect to government employment, the word post means a position in service.
Permanent post means a post carrying a definite rate of pay sanctioned without the limit
of time. Appointment to a permanent post may be substantive, or on an officiating or ad-
hoc basis. A substantive appointment to a permanent post confers lien on the appointee.
Lien means title to hold a post substantively.

Temporary post is a post created for a certain period without intending it to be permanent.
An appointment to a permanent post on probation means that the servant is taken on trial.
Confirmation is usually granted after that period unless the servant so appointed on trial
is found unsuitable and his service is terminated by a notice. Ad hoc appointment is a
stop gap, fortuitous or purely temporary arrangement without considering all eligible
persons for the post. Ad hoc employees have no right to the post. Period of ad hoc
appointment is not to exceed six months, though there have been instances of it having
stretched up to nine years. (ibid)

Quasi permanent service

Under rule 3 of the central civil service (temporary service rules, 1949), a person who
having been appointed temporarily to a post has been in continuous service for more than
three years or has been certified by the appointing authority as fit for employment in a
quasi permanent capacity, such person is to be deemed to be in quasi permanent service.
He then gets a right to the post though he has no lien and cannot claim permanency.
Unless the employee acquires the status of a quasi permanent, he cannot claim the
protection of Article 311 of the Indian Constitution (Hidaytullah, 1986).

The determination of the recruitment authority is one of the essential features of the
process. Article 309 of the Indian Constitution empowers the Central Government and
State Governments to regulate recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed
to public services and posts through an act of appropriate legislature. The Parliament
made the All India Staffing Pattern Services Act in 1951, which governs the conditions of
service of All India Service Officers. The recruitment and employment of civil servants is
regulated by the rules made by the respective governments under the provisions of the

The power conferred by Article 309 on the legislature and the executive, is subject to
limitations. Neither the laws nor the rules made under the article can override
constitutional provisions, which limit legislative power. They are liable to be struck down
if they violate constitutional provisions. Other relevant articles are; articles 14, 19, 144,
310(1) and 311. Article 14 guarantees the right to equal protection of laws, and article 19
safeguards the seven fundamental freedoms. Under article 144, civil and judicial
authorities have to act in aid of the Supreme Court. Further, the application of articles
310(1) and 311 is altogether excluded by some other articles such as 76, 148 and 124-5.
These articles provide for the mode of appointment and conditions of service of certain
officers, namely, the Attorney- General of India, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of
India and the Judges of the Supreme Court. Similarly, Article 309 of the constitution is
not applicable to some other class of public servants, for example, those covered by
articles 229(2), 312(1) and 324(5). They deal respectively with the officers of the High
Courts, members of All India Services and the Election and Regional Commissioners.
Their conditions of service, etc., are laid down in the manner prescribed by these articles.

Qualifications of Employees
The question of qualifications required for public employees are of enormous importance,
as, on it, rests largely the general efficiency of the public services. These qualifications
may be divided into two parts: general and special. General qualifications apply to all
public employees, and are, thus, of universal application. They relate to civic status,
domicile, sex and age. Special qualifications deal with education, experience, technical
knowledge and personal status.
Merit and Suitability
The most important problem with regard to recruitment is finding a suitable method of
determining the merit and suitability of candidates. It is very difficult to define merit.
All the qualities of 'an employee, which lead to a more efficient performance of his
duties, are elements of merit. The components of merit can be competence, capacity,
efficiency, initiative, dependability, straightforwardness, integrity, missionary zeal,
effective supervision, leadership, alertness of mind, physique and personality, academic
attainments, etc. Merit also includes suitability. In suitability, we are more concerned
with the relationship between the applicant and requirements of the job; viz. tasks, duties
and responsibility. The examination and interview methods have been adopted to
determine the merit and suitability for recruitment. Articles 16(1) and (2) guarantee to all
citizens an equal opportunity and a right to make an application for employment in any
post under the government and also a right to be considered on merits for the post for
which the application is made. But it does not extend to being actually appointed. The
European countries fall distinctly into two categories. The first category consisting of
International perspective might be pertinent here. France Belgium Spain and Italy, that is
those recruit personnel by competitive written examinations (not necessarily through
centralised agencies) and the second consisting of Sweden, Switzerland, Holland
Denmark and Germany where entry into the civil service is determined on the basis of an
examination of the available records of the candidates attainments. (Jain, 1976)

Articles 14, 15 and 16 supplement each other. Article 16 is only an application of the
general principle of equality laid down in Article 14. Therefore, the concept of
reasonable classification enters into the application of Article 16.The equality of
opportunity guaranteed by Article 16 is equality as between members of the same class of
civil servants and not equality between separate and independent classes. Thus if there is
difference of procedure or rules concerning recruitment and promotion in different
classes the same cannot be challenged on grounds of denial of equal opportunity.

Equality of opportunity includes all matters in relation to employment or appointment

both prior and subsequent to the appointment viz. salary, periodical increments,
promotion, seniority, terms of leave, gratuity, pension, age of superannuation etc.
Equality of opportunity guaranteed in articles 16(1) and (2) does not mean that the
government is not entitled to pick and chose from among the candidates for employment
under the government. The appointing authority may lay down the rules or notifications
prerequisite conditions of service or qualifications of selection or making the
appointment. The conditions should however be such as would be conclusive to proper
discipline among the government employees. Such conditions must be applicable to all
citizens subject however to the exceptions in clauses (3) to (5) of article 16.They must
have a reasonable relation to or a relevant connection with the suitability for a post or
employment in the public service.

There can be different treatment of employees differently situated or seeking different

employment. There can be reasonable classification. But if there are no reasons for
separate treatment, the discrimination would be unconstitutional. Violation of article
16(1) can be claimed by a person only if he has the necessary qualifications or satisfies
all conditions validly prescribed. He cannot rely merely on erroneous orders that may
have been passed in other cases.
Written examinations are of two types:
(a) Essay Type Test
The purpose of this test is to judge the caliber of the candidate about command over
factual knowledge and his ability to logically reason and argue. In India, there was a
compulsory essay test for all India services recruitment. This method is costly and less
reliable. Subjectivity is difficult to avoid as judgment of a subject matter would differ
from examiner to examiner.

(b) Short-Answer Objective Test

A candidate takes a test in which a large number of questions are given and he answers
'yes' or 'no'. This test is objective as there is only one correct answer to a question. The
advantage is that they are cheaper to administer. The results can be compiled quickly
through electronic devices. Such tests have a serious disadvantage; they offer no scope
for test of positive ability, creativity, and imaginativeness.
5.4.4 Tests in Business
Businesses employ intelligence, aptitude and performance tests to judge suitability with
respect to a particular job. The succeeding analysis points it out as:
(a) Intelligence Test
Intelligence or mental alertness tests are designed to measure the inherent intellectual
capabilities of the applicant. Though recognised value is provided to intelligence tests
sole reliance is not placed upon them. They are used for other purposes in dealing with
employees like selection for special training for technical positions and for classifying
persons for formal training classes. Multiple-choice questions are used, for example,
antonyms, synonyms, simple quantitative skills, analytical reasoning, common sense,
general understanding, etc.

Intelligence tests are administered to assess the mental maturity of the candidate. The
intelligence quotient, commonly referred to as the I.Q. is indicative of mental age. The
Intelligence quotient is judged on the basis of mental age which might be different as
compared to physical age. In some jobs, more intelligence is required than in others. It
has to be ensured that persons with right intelligence are recruited for suitable jobs, for
example, if a person of higher intelligence joins a job requiring low intelligence quotient,
he is likely to either leave the job or suffer low job satisfaction.
(b) Personality Tests
Different jobs require different traits of temperament and emotion. These should be
identified and measured, for example, for supervisory jobs, emotional stability is
important. Different types of personality tests have been devised by scholars, which can
be used to ensure the right selection for a job.

Special aptitude tests are meant to assess the suitability of a candidate with respect to
physical and mental qualifications. These tests require use of specialised equipment and
testing appliances. Some of the subject areas include:
Space comprehension
Distance judging
Quickness of motor responses
Steadiness of hands or arms
Ability to assemble parts
Ability to distinguish colours
Lateral or peripheral vision
Quickness of recovery of vision after exposure to blinding light
Ability to distinguish sounds or pitch
Strength of finger, hand, wrist or arm
Manual or finger dexterity
Ability to drive a motor vehicle
Ability to manipulate mechanical devices
Maintain balance when subjected to rotary motions ( Owen,1987)

(c) Aptitude Tests

Aptitude tests seek to discover the natural talent of an aspirant in a specific area of
learning or practice associated with the job. Different jobs require different aptitudes and
selection must be done as per requirements. Aptitudes may be, word fluency, reasoning,
spatial, numerical or memory aptitude etc.

(d) Performance Test

To recruit personnel for skilled trade or crafts, the performance test device is employed.
An employee is asked to perform the work for a short period and his output, skill and
performance are watched. Example can be given of the test for the work of a
stenographer, typist, machine operator etc. This test, however, does not give a complete
picture of the potential of an employee. It cannot assess his will to work. What is
actually applied in practice is a mix of approaches tailor made for a specific job or an
occupational group. Such tests are known as balanced tests.

(e) Interview
An interview consists of systematically trying to find out the information, skills or views;
a candidate has for the job for which he has sought the selection. Oral tests can gauge
intangible qualities of character like, smartness, alacrity, emotional stability, confidence
and fortitude. The technique of an oral test is that of a natural purposive conversation
intended to reveal the qualities of the candidate. Group discussions can also form part of
oral interviews. Oral tests are considered as a necessary complement to written tests as
the latter will always have limitations.


The question remains what administrative machinery shall be employed to hold the
various tests described above? Obviously, these tests should be held by an independent
and impartial body of persons. The departmental boards are subject to political pressure
and do not inspire confidence. Therefore, to inspire public confidence in the recruitment
system, it is necessary that judicious, impartial and independent commission with
adequate constitutional safeguards to protect its impartiality should be set up for selecting
candidates to various public services.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the Staff Selection Commission
(SSC) are the two designated recruitment agencies, the former for Group A and B service
posts and the latter for non-technical Group C "posts". The SSC also conducts the
Assistants Grade C and Stenographers' open examination for Group 'B' non-gazetted

Union and State Public Service Commission in India

It was the Government of India Act, 1919, which for the first time, made a mention of the
public service commission in the dispatch of Indian constitutional reforms. The
government of India Act, 1935, provided not only for a federal public service
commission but also for public service commissions in the provinces. In the Indian
constitution, Article 315 provides for the establishment of a Union Public Service
Commission (UPSC) and State Public Service Commissions (SPSC) but two or more
states may agree to have a common commission.
Composition and Qualifications of Members
The constitution of India does not fix the number of members of the Union or the State
Public Service Commissions but has left the matter to the discretion of the President of
India and the Governor in the case of union or states respectively. The Union Public
Service Commission has a chairman and ten members, who are appointed by the
president of India. At least, one-half of the members should be persons with a minimum
of ten years experience in government service. The tenure of office is fixed for six years
or until the attainment of 65 years of age in the case of Union Public Service Commission
and 62 in the case of State Public Service Commission. A member can be removed from
office only by an order of the President in the case of Union Public Service Commission
and the state Governor in the case of State Public Service Commission on the grounds of
insolvency, infirmity of mind or body, or engagement in paid employment outside the
duties of his office. In order to ensure the impartiality and independence of the members,
the constitution provides that, upon ceasing to be a member of the commission in due
time, the incumbent will be ineligible for any further appointment in the same office or in
any office under the government except a higher appointment in the same commission.
The President of India determines the salary and other conditions of service of the
members of the commission through regulations. It is provided that the conditions of
service of a member of the commission cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his
appointment. The entire expenses of the commission including salaries and allowances of
its members are charged on the consolidated fund of India. Member of the Union Public
Service Commission can be removed from office only by an order of the President on the
ground of misbehavior. The President will refer the matter to the Supreme Court and the
court will conduct an enquiry under Article 145 and submit the report to the president,
who can suspend the member concerned. It may be kept in mind that public service
commissions are only advisory bodies and it is up to the government to accept or reject
the recommendations (Mukherjee v. Union of India, 1994 Supplement (i), SC, C. 250).

The functions of the commission under Article 320 may be summarised as follows:
1. To advise the government on all matters relating to the method of recruitment and
principles to be followed in making appointments to the civil services either
directly or by promotion.
2 To conduct examinations for appointment to the All India and Union Services.
3 To interview candidates for direct recruitment.
4 To advise the government on the suitability of candidates for promotion and
transfer. Recommendations for such promotions are made by the departments
concerned and the commission is requested to ratify them.
5 The commission is also consulted on matters like temporary appointments for
periods exceeding one year but not exceeding three years, grant of extension of
services and re-employment of certain retired civil servants.
6. The commission is also consulted on matters relating to regularisation of
appointments, claims for the award of pensions, claims for reimbursement of legal
expenses incurred by government servants in defence in legal proceedings
instituted against them in respect of alleged omissions and commissions in the
course of execution of their official duties, claims for pension, or compensation in
respect of injuries sustained on duty.
7. The commission is consulted regarding disciplinary matters in case of:
(i) censure;
(ii) withholding of increments or promotion;
(iii) reduction to a lower service, grade or post; (iv) compulsory retirement; and
(v) removal or dismissal from service.

8. To advise the government on any other matter specifically referred to it by the

president or the governor.

Though it is obligatory on the part of the government to consult the commission on these
matters, failure to do so does not render the action invalid. The President has the
authority to exclude posts, services and matters from the purview of the commission. But
all such regulations have to be laid by him before each house of parliament, as soon as
possible, or repeal these regulations. Moreover, under Article 321 there is a provision in
the constitution to authorise the parliament to extend the functions of the commission.
Certain other matters have also been brought under the purview of the UPSC. These
include proposals for upgradation / downgradation of posts, constitution of DPCs for
promotion to pots in central civil services and group A posts in based on the principle of
selection and not on seniority cum fitness, special recruitment to the scientist pool, etc.
The UPSC (Exemption from consultations) Regulations, 1958 specify the matters, which
are, excluded fro its purview. These envisage that if the rules governing recruitment to
the civil service or civil post concerned do not explicitly provide for consultation with
UPSC, it is not necessary to consult the commission about selection for appointment in
categories. It is also not necessary to consult the commission about selection for
temporary or officiating appointment to a post if such appointment is not likely to
continue beyond a period of one year.

The fifth pay commission has expressed concern at the work load presently on the
UPSC and has called for reducing it by dispensing with the involvement of the UPSC in
case of many civil posts in Group A (if less than 15)which could be delegated to
concerned ministries. The government could also consider the option of expanding the
UPSC opening regional branches of UPSC or establishing other commissions. In
addition, regulations should be amended to provide that consultation with the commission
should, not be necessary about selection for appointment to posts in scales of pay below
or above the Senior Administrative Grade (Rs. 5900-6700) in all services/ cadres. The
fifth pay commission however recommended continuing the practice of consulting the
UPSC in cases of promotion from a Group B post to a Group A post or from a lower
post to senior administrative grade in Group A.

The constitution requires the commission to submit to the President, an annual report on
work done during a year. The report, accompanied by a memorandum explaining the
action taken by the government on the recommendations of the commission, is to be
placed before parliament. The memorandum should explain the reasons for the non-
acceptance of the recommendations of the suitability of candidates for promotion and.
transfer. Recommendations for such promotions are made by the departments concerned
and the commission is requested to ratify them.

Quasi -Judicial Jurisdiction of the Commission

The quasi- judicial jurisdiction of the UPSC is limited both in scope and extent. In fact,
it has no true appellate jurisdiction. It can only advise on disciplinary actions then against
employees. According to the constitution, the government should consult the commission
on the following matters1) All disciplinary actions affecting a government employee
including positions relating to such matters (320(3) (e) (2). Claims for reimbursement of
costs incurred by an employee and any question as to the amount of any such award.
(Jain, 1976)

It may be noted that the constitution does not provide an aggrieved civil servant any right
of appeal to the UPSC against any disciplinary action taken by the government. A
government employee has a right to appeal only in matters of dismissal removal and
reduction in rank and that too not to the UPSC. The Constitution merely prescribes that
the government should consult the commission on certain matters. However, the
consultation prescribed by sub clause (c) of Article 320(3) is only to afford assistance in
assessing guilt or otherwise of the delinquent officer as well as suitability of the penalty
to be imposed.

Other Agencies for Recruitment

In addition to the UPSC, the government of India has set up the Staff Selection
Commission, Railway Recruitment Boards and other agencies and entrusted them with
responsibility of recruitment to Group C posts in central ministries, departments and their
attached and subordinate offices and for recruitment to certain specified Group B posts
like assistants and stenographers in the central secretariat. Vacancies in the central
government establishments other than those filled through the UPSC or the respective
departments through notification to the nearest employment exchange fill agencies like
the Staff Selection Commission and no department can fill any such vacancy by direct
recruitment unless the employment exchange issues a no availability certificate. In the
event of a conscious effort to reduce workload on the UPSC, the fifth pay commission
has recommended that the recruitment responsibilities shall need to be increased for staff
selection commission. Recruitments should be decentralised to concerned ministries for
various posts and staff selection commission should b expanded with more regional
offices and better infrastructure.

Recruitment in some lower category posts is done by departments themselves and while
recruitments in the higher categories is made by the UPSC. However, some agencies like
the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research have been authorised to recruit and
select directly for Class 1 and Class 2 posts(UPDSC Exemption from Consultation
Regulations, 1958 although the CSIR has very often requested the UPSC to help it select
candidates for inclusion in the Scientists posts.

The constitution requires the commission to submit to the President, an annual report on
work done during a year. The report, accompanied by a memorandum explaining the
action taken by the government on the recommendations of the commission, is to be
placed before parliament. The memorandum should explain the reasons for the non-
acceptance of the recommendations of the suitability of candidates for promotion and.
transfer. Recommendations for such promotions are made by the departments concerned
and the commission is requested to ratify them.


According to L.D. White (1926), promotion is an appointment from a given position to

a position of higher grade, involving a change of duties to a more difficult type of work
and greater responsibility, accompanied by change of title and usually an increase in
A good promotion system is useful to employees individually as well as to the
administration as a whole (Arthur). The task of devising a good promotion system is
difficult. Promotion system might breed discontent, be diminutive of incentive, and lead
to general impairment of morale (Meyers)
The basic urge of human beings for recognition and advancement is met by promotion.
Promotion adds to the goodwill of the government. It also develops the feeling of
belongingness in the employees. It has been felt that a good promotion system is useful to
the employees individually as well as to the administration as a whole. If promotion is not
effected judiciously, there is a danger that it might breed discontent, diminution of
incentive, and general impairment of morale. This will ultimately affect the efficiency of
the organisation. A single promotion frequently results in a chain of opportunities for
several staff members and encourages their orderly progression in a career service. If
vacancies are too frequently filled by outside recruitment, staff morale might suffer.

Legal Perspective
With regard to promotion, certain notable aspects are recounted as follows:
-It is apparent that the concept of promotion implies that the employee is already in
-Incumbents appointment from a lower or inferior post to a higher or superior post
amounts to promotion;
- Promotion amounts to a fresh appointment. It involves progression to a higher grade.
Mere special pay or allowances attached to a post do not imply promotion. For example,
appointment to a selection grade is promotion;
- Up grading a post is different from promotion. When a post is upgraded, the person
holding the post before up gradation has no right to hold the new post. Even if he is
allowed to hold the upgraded post, it does not amount to promotion as he cannot be said
to leave his existing post and occupy a new post as no question of appointment is
-Similarly upward revision of pay scale is different from upgrading, as upgrading
involves, not only raising the time scale but also changing the status of grade. Thus,
upward revision of pay scale does not amount to promotion. (Basu)

Essentials of a Promotion System

W.F. Willoughby lays down the following conditions, which form the backbone of a
sound promotion system:

1) Adoption of standard specifications.

2) Classification of positions into distinct services, classes and grades.
3) Inclusion of all positions except those having a political character.
4) The adoption of the principle, as far as possible, that superior positions will be
filled by promotion from lower positions.

5) The adoption of the principle that merit alone shall determine the selection of
employees for promotion.
6) The provisions of adequate means for determining the relative merits of
employees eligible for promotion.

The first and second conditions ensure adherence to the merit principle. The third and
fourth ensure that all employees are eligible for promotion. The fifth emphasises that
promotions should be made on the criterion of merit. The last factor stresses the adoption
of a scientific approach to promotions.

Features of Promotion

The Features of Promotion are:

1. Management Function
Promotion is at the discretion of the competent authority and no employee can claim a
legal right to be promoted. Hence courts or tribunals cannot interfere in the management
function in the absence of mala fide or victimisation. An employee may claim the right to
a promotion only if such a right is granted by the terms and conditions of service or by
service rules. (C.K Awasthi vs. IIT kanpur, AIR 1969 A11 213 Lab IC518-)

2. Optional in Nature

Promotion can be brought about with the consent of both the parties. An employee may
refuse to accept the promotion if the nature of work in the higher post does not suit him.

Constitutes Fresh Appointment

Appointment through promotion is a new appointment. (Ramkaran vs. Union of India,
1976, Lab, IC 1263 (1975)2, SLR 683(Delhi)) This means that an authority subordinate
to the authority, which had promoted him, cannot dismiss an employee. It is a substantial
alteration of the earlier contract of employment which was deemed as brought about by
the consent of both parties.

Governed by Rules
In the absence of statutory rules, the executive can frame instructions regarding the
principles to be followed for promotion. However, the executive has no power to amend
or supersede statutory rules by administrative instructions. (Naidu vs. State of Mysore,
19th Lab IC 73: AIR 1971MY1) When statutory rules are framed regarding promotions,
such rules will override the administrative instructions or departmental orders.

Fundamental Right
Article 16 of the constitution applies to promotion. The fundamental right, however,
extends only to consideration for appointment and not to the actual promotion. Equality
of opportunity in the matter of promotion only means that all employees holding posts in
the same grade shall be equally eligible for being considered on the merits for
appointment to a higher grade. The employee has no legal right to be promoted from the
moment a vacancy arises in the higher post. The government can keep it vacant for as
long as it chooses. Even where there are rules framed, they can be enforced only if the
particular rule is mandatory. If the rule, even though it is a statutory rule, is only directory
or gives discretionary power to the administration as distinguished from a duty, no legal
right arises for the government servant, and cannot therefore, be enforced by legal
action. The equality of opportunity (Article 16) does not apply to employees belonging
to different classes or when two posts cannot be treated on the same footing. To obstruct
an employees path of promotion amounts to infringement of the fundamental right under
Article 16 (Gurudev Singh vs. State of Mysore, 19th Lab SLR 995 (P&H). The purpose
is to ensure similarity and equality of treatment and not identity in case of different
circumstances. (Madhusudan Nair vs. State of Kerela AIR 1961 (Kerela 203; 1960,

Article 16 does not forbid fixation of reasonable qualifications to determine merit. Article
16 of the constitution never excludes selection and should not be confused with
absolute equality. The guarantee under Article 16 of the constitution does not take away
the right of the state to choose the best candidate. (K.Gopala Pillai vs. state of Kerela,
AIR 1966, Ker 262).Promotion is overriding in that a person on promotion is
automatically exempted from penalties earlier imposed on him.

An authority competent to lay down qualifications for promotion is also competent to

change the qualifications. The rules regarding qualifications can be changed with
retrospective effect unless it is specifically provided in the rules the employees who were
already promoted before the change of rules cannot be reverted or their promotions
cannot be upset.

The power to relax any of the qualifications and the criteria for such relaxation may be
provided by rules. A relaxation made in accordance with the rules in a given case cannot
be questioned unless facts are stated to show that an undue favour was shown to that

Criteria for Promotion

When a certain post is a selection post, promotion to it is primarily based on merit and
not seniority alone and therefore, the employee cannot claim promotion as a matter of
right on the basis of seniority. In these cases, seniority is to be regarded as a criterion
where the merits of employees are found to be equal. The criterion practiced is thus merit
cum seniority.

For non selection posts, the criterion for promotion is seniority- cum- fitness (or seniority
cum merit). In other words, seniority is the primary criterion and must be considered first,
subject to the employee being fit and not having any demerit.

For other posts in the absence of any rule governing promotion, the criterion of seniority
cum fitness is not arbitrary or mala fide.

The appointing authority is the only competent authority to issue promotion orders. The
competent authority can seek the guidance of a specially constituted departmental
promotion committee but the ultimate certification must be of the competent authority.

Promotion from State Civil Services to All India Services

There is a provision for promotion to the I.A.S. from the state civil services to the tune of
33 per cent of the total vacancies. The promotions are made by a committee instituted for
each state. To take the example of Haryana, the selection committee for this purpose
comprises the chairman of the Union Public Service Commission or his representative, a
senior officer of the government of India, the Chief Secretary to the Government of
Haryana, the Senior Financial Commissioner in the Haryana civil secretariat, the
Development Commissioner and the senior most Divisional Commissioner. There is a
feeling among the persons promoted that they are not given fair treatment by direct
recruits to the All India Services. Besides they do not feel fully integrated with the
system. This feeling should be removed as it lowers the morale of promoted civil
Promotion in State Civil Service from Allied Services
This system can be illustrated with the help of promotions to the Haryana State Civil
Service (executive branch). Promotion to this service is made from tehsildars, persons
holding ministerial appointments, block development and panchayat officers, etc. Under
the existing procedures, a committee is appointed consisting of the chief secretary as
chairman and two other such officers as members nominated by the state government.
The committee makes a selection out of the eligible officials and then forwards to the
State Public Service Commission for its 'views' on the names of candidates thus selected
for the posts to be filled. This procedure has curtailed the powers of the Commission and
made it a rubber stamp to endorse the decision of the state government. This needs to be
reviewed to ensure fairness and impartiality of the State Public Service Commission.
Principles of Promotion

The Principles of Promotion are as listed below:

1. Principle of Merit
In case of promotion to higher level posts, merit is the only consideration to the total
exclusion of seniority.
2. Principle of Merit cum Seniority
In case of promotion to middle level posts, merit is the determining factor and seniority a
secondary one; and
3. Principle of Seniority
In case of promotion to lower rung posts, seniority carries weight but even here care is
taken to ensure that exceptional merit is rewarded by quick promotion.

In fact, a compromise between the two extremes of pure seniority and pure merit is
followed. Flippo phrases this principle as "when ability is substantially equal, seniority
will govern.

As per observations by the fifth pay commission report, in public services, reasonable
promotion opportunities ranging from 2-4 promotions in one s career have formed the
accepted norm. Merit is stressed on as is evident from limited departmental competitive
examination (LDCE) followed by different departments. A concept of benchmark for
grading of Annual Confidential Reports for promotion purposes has also been introduced
with a view to ensuring that merit is given due consideration in promotions. The concept
of selection is also based on the idea of promoting merit as against the usual, seniority.
However practice suggests that promotions have been irregular, generally based on
seniority and entirely dependent on availability of vacancies in the higher grades. Wide
disparities between practices followed in different departments with respect to
promotions and cadre management has also been evident.

Empanelment for Joint Secretary

At the level of posts of joint secretary and equivalent, the Civil services board finalises
the panel for submission to the Appointments committee of the Cabinet (ACC). In this
work, a screening committee of secretaries assists the CSB. The panel approved by the
ACC on the recommendation of the CSB is utilised for making appointments to posts
under the government of India.

Empanelment for Additional Secretary/Special Secretary

Selection for inclusion on the panel of officers adjudged suitable for the posts of
additional secretary or special secretary/secretary to the government of India and
equivalent posts equivalent is approved by the ACC based on proposals submitted by the
cabinet secretary. The Cabinet Secretary is assisted by a special committee of secretaries
for drawing up proposals for consideration of the ACC.

Eligibility to hold posts of Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Director and Joint

For the above posts, eligibility starts after completing 5 years, 9 years, 14 years and 17
years of service in group A, irrespective of the service to which they belong.

Career Advancement for Group C and D employees:

A scheme of in situ promotion for group C and D employees was introduced in 1991 to
provide at least one promotion grade to those who are directly recruited to a group C and
D post and who could not get a promotion even after reaching the maximum of the scale.
Such scheme is an ad hoc measure and tackles the problem of stagnancy only
temporarily. This reveals the general lack of career planning affecting our public services.

Flexible Complementing scheme

A Flexible complementing scheme (FCS) was introduced in 1983 on the recommendation

of the third central pay commission to ensure that promotion of an officer in a scientific
service in Group A, from one grade to the next higher grade took place after a prescribed
period of service on the basis of merit and suitability irrespective of the availability of a
vacancy in the higher grade. The scheme is available now in many of the scientific
departments organisations and institutions under the government of India. A number of
functional promotions were made under this scheme in scientific departments notified as
such by the Department of Science and Technology. The Commission has widened the
scope of the scheme to cover all Research and Development professionals whether they
are scientists, technologists or medical and computer professionals, at the same time
taking out of the scheme certain non-entitled categories that had managed to get the
benefit undeservedly.



A. United Kingdom
In U.K., since the publication of the Northcote Trevalyan report (1853) merit has been
given due weight in promotions. Factors of performance are identified and the employees
are rated on each stipulated count as outstanding, very good, satisfactory, indifferent, or
poor during their service. A consolidated rating is prepared at the time of promotions.
Reporting officers have to give reasons for grading personnel outstanding or poor to
ensure fair play. There are three important features of the promotion system in U.K.

(1) Vacancies to be filled through promotion are announced well in advance

(2) Recommendations for promotion are assessed by a departmental board
rather than a single individual; and
(3) Provision exists for appeal by the aggrieved party.

b. United States of America

In the United States, performance is assessed through well designed 'efficiency ratings'
resulting in a mathematical gauge. Four types of efficiency ratings are prevalent. These
1. Training according to production record used for repetitive and mechanical work
like typing, etc;
2. Trait-rating which includes fifteen qualities to be judged under five grades;
3. Substantiating evidence reports popularly known as Laffan System; and

4. Analytical checklist wherein the rating officer has only to check or mark the
presence of qualities in the employee under consideration.

c. India
Largely, seniority-cum-merit has been the governing principle of promotion. The relative
weight given to these factors varies from one organisation to another. Besides, the service
records of the official, discretion of the competent authority may be a determining factor
in ascertaining suitability for promotion. Departmental promotional committees have
been set up to screen promotions at the department level. There is a form to help the
promotion committee wherein all annual reports of the candidates are compiled. In the
form, an officer is graded as A plus (outstanding); A (very good), B plus (good), B
(average) and C (below average). These reports are drawn up in the first instance by a
reporting officer who is usually the immediate superior. The reports are treated as
confidential but there is a provision to inform the person concerned if he is below average
grade or not fit for promotion.

In case of promotions in State Civil Services from Class III to Class II and Class II to
Class I, departments are required to get the concurrence of the Public Service
Commission. It is done to ensure adherence to minimum qualifications, required for a


The four main methods to ascertain merit are discussed below:

I. Written Examination
Written examinations are conducted for open competitions and the objective to select a
few out of the total applicants... The efficacy of this system is linked with the merits and
the demerits of the examination system. The chief merit of the system is that chances of
corruption, favoritism and arbitrariness are minimised. On the other hand, it may be
argued that a written examination is not the true test of one's ability and is also not
favourable to the older generation who may not appreciate memorising for exams.

2. Personal Judgment of the Head of the Agency

According to this system, only those persons are promoted, who in the judgment of the
head are fit for promotion. This system has advantage because the head is expected to
have full knowledge about the capacities of all those who work under him. This system is
also open to serious objections. It is arguably highly subjective but in spite of
shortcomings, can be used with modifications. For example, a promotion board,
constituted from amongst the officials of his own department, might assist the head. This
board may review the record of the concerned employee. Moreover, a system of appeals
can also be instituted in case of alleged foul play. The actual promotion, however, would
rightly be in the hands of the head of the agency, though appeal against controversial
promotions could be made to an outside agency.
3. Efficiency Rating
The efficiency rating system is the product of the scientific management movement. It is
widely used in the United States of America. There are three major systems of efficiency
ratings: (1) The Production Record System, (2) The Graphic Scale System, and (3) The
Personality Inventory System. Output record is documented against set standards to
assess efficiency over a period of time against traits like knowledge of work, personality,
judgment, initiative accuracy, willingness to take responsibility, neatness, punctuality,
organising ability, etc., In UK and India ratings are as follows:

(a) Outstanding
(b) Very good
(c) Satisfactory
(d) Indifferent
(e) Poor

In the U.S.A., ratings are;

(a) Highest possible
(b) Very good
( c ) Ordinary
(d) Bad
(e) Very bad.

Sometimes giving of grades like 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', etc. is also employed.

4. Viva Voce
The written examination, personal judgment and efficiency rating could be combined
with viva voce tests. The viva test has the advantage of holistic appreciation of person and
his work by a group of seniors, competent to judge. In a case decision, it was held that
promotion shall be regulated on the following conditions: (i) length of service; (ii) proved
efficiency and special merit; (iii) regularity of attendance; (iv) integrity and good
behavior; (v) seniority shall be a predisposing factor for promotion and not
predetermining factor. As against these positive' conditions, slackness of work and
disorderly behavior shall operate as discounting or retarding factors for promotion of an
employee (Nellimarala Jute Mills Co. Ltd., v. Staff (1950), ILLU 394 (IT)

The second central pay commission (CPC) of the Government of India, 1960, preferred
functional requirements of public service to career prospects as the area of emphasis. The
third CPC was of the view that standard of recruitment need not be disturbed to open up
promotion avenues. Fourth CPC recommended cadre reviews to enhance promotion
prospects but this did not improve promotional avenues. The fifth central pay
commission in its Report has made certain recommendations relating to the Assured
Career Progression (ACP) Scheme for the central government civilian employees in all
Ministries/Departments. The government has decided to introduce the ACP Scheme
recommended by the fifth central pay commission with certain modifications as indicated
While promotion shall continue to be duly earned, it is proposed to adopt the ACP
Scheme in a modified form to mitigate hardship in cases of acute stagnation either in a
cadre or in an isolated post. The ACP scheme needs to be viewed as a Safety Net to deal
with the problem of genuine stagnation and hardship faced by the employees due to lack
of adequate promotional avenues
There shall be no benefits under the ACP scheme for Group A Central services
(Technical/Non-Technical). Cadre controlling authorities in their case would continue to
improve the promotion prospects in organisations and cadres on functional grounds by
way of organisational study, cadre review, etc. as per prescribed norms.
For Group B, C and D services and posts and isolated posts in Group A, B, C
and D categories, it has been decided to grant two financial upgradations .Grant of
financial up-gradations under the ACP Scheme shall, however, be subject to the
conditions such as relating to length of service (first financial upgradtion after 12 years
and second after 24 years) completed and others as stipulated.
Introduction of the ACP Scheme is not to affect the normal (regular) promotional
avenues available on the basis of vacancies or on functional grounds as per prescribed
norms. Vacancy based regular promotions, as distinct from financial upgradation under
the ACP Scheme, shall continue to be granted after due screening by a regular
Departmental Promotion Committee as per relevant rules and guidelines. Existing time-
bound promotion schemes, including in-situ promotion scheme, in various
ministries/departments may, as per choice, continue to be operational for the concerned
categories of employees. However, these schemes shall not run concurrently with the
ACP Scheme. The administrative ministry/department -- not the employees -- shall have
the option in the matter to choose between the two schemes, i.e. existing time-bound
promotion scheme or the ACP Scheme, for various categories of employees. However, in
case of switch-over from the existing time-bound promotion scheme to the ACP Scheme,
all stipulations (viz. for promotion, redistribution of posts, upgradation involving higher
functional duties, etc) made under the former (existing) scheme would cease to be
operative. The ACP Scheme shall have to be adopted in its totality.
A departmental screening committee is to be constituted for processing the cases for
grant of benefits under the ACP Scheme. The composition of the screening committee is
to be the same as that of the Departmental Promotional Committee prescribed under the
relevant recruitment service rules for regular promotion to the higher grade to which
financial upgradation is to be granted.
Upgradation to the officer is on a personal basis hence neither amounts to functional or
regular promotion nor requires creation of new posts for the purpose. The financial
upgradation under the ACP Scheme shall be purely personal to the employee and shall
have no relevance to his seniority position. As such, there shall be no additional financial
upgradation for the senior employee on the ground that the junior employee in the grade
has got higher pay-scale under the ACP Scheme.
The issue of career development of employees was considered by the four pay
commissions appointed by the government of India. As per views expressed by the first,
second, third and fourth pay commissions, posts in organisations should be created in
keeping with the functional requirements of organisations and not just to improve the
promotion prospects of employees disregarding the issue of organisational growth and
development. Accordingly, the fourth pay commission recommended cadre reviews in
organisations, especially in respect of posts in Groups B, C and D to be conducted by
respective administrative ministries. Efforts in this regard have been rather discouraging.
Many organisations have undertaken no cadre reviews at all, and those that did, did not
complete the exercise in time or did not do it with certainty. Following the schemes
failure there has been demand for introduction of time bound schemes for promotions.
Availability of time bound schemes in different organisations such as P&T, Railways,
Health, Scientific Departments and certain state governments, namely, Arunachal
Pradesh, Kerela,Rajasthan, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh, as noted
by the fifth pay commission has given strength to this demand.


Recruitment, selection appointment and promotion are of great significance as the entire
functioning of government depends upon persons selected and placed at various positions
in the organisation. Human resource is the most important in an organisation and
effective career planning and development are imperative for its effective utilisation.
Sound recruitment and proper placements serve the said end. Technical efficiency may
not make up for poor human resource management. There is an imperative need to be
objective and impartial as regards the process to sustain organisations in good health.
(a) Proper selection and placement of new employees is a pre-requisite for the
development of an effective work force.
(b) Recruitment can be done either by direct or indirect methods (Promotion)
(c) Merit is determined by examination, performance test, interview and
personality tests.
(d) Recruitment for senior posts is done by Public Service Commission.
(e) Promotion means an appointment to a higher position having higher duties
and responsibilities.


Appointment: Appointment entails placement of an employee, post selection.
Appointment involves legal right, for the employee to hold the
post, which is termed lien in legal, terminology. Such legal
right depends on policy framed in this regard. In case of hire
and fire policy and free entry and exit of firms, labour laws are
modified to alter legal terms and conditions of employment.

Recruitment: Recruitment is the process of arranging manpower from

internal and external sources. Recruitment is distinguished
from appointment in that the former involves processes
preceding appointment. Appointment is a legal concept,
involving lien (right to post) for the appointed employee.

Selection: Selection is a part of recruitment. It entails tests of performance

aptitude or general ability as per the requirements of the post
followed usually by an interview. The Industry employs
scientifically devised recruitments tests based on efficiency and
skill parameters to ensure the right man in the right place in an
organisation. Civil Service employment policies are based on
policies issued by the central government as per its ideological
proclivity. Affirmative action in favour of disadvantaged
sections of society is a case in point.


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1. Do you feel that recruitment is the cornerstone of Public Personnel

administration? Illustrate with suitable examples.
2. Analyse how promotion promotes organisational excellence?
3. Discuss the main functions of the UPSC (Union Public Service
Commission) in connection with Civil Service Recruitment.